Four Things To Know Before You Plant A Walnut Tree

Walnuts are delicious and nutritious. If you love using them in your baking or just eating them as a snack, then you might be considering planting a walnut tree on your property. But while this can be a great way to gain access to your favorite nut, growing walnuts is not always as easy as you may assume. Here are four things to know before you plant a walnut tree.

There are several types of walnut tree.

If you want to enjoy the nuts on your tree, then the type of tree you want to plant is an English Walnut. This walnut species is known for its large, sweet nuts that are encased in softer, easily cracked shells. Black walnuts, the other common variety of walnuts, can be eaten. However, they come in messy blackened pods that you must allow to dry before you can eat the nuts. Plus, they tend to be harder to crack and not as sweet.

They don't produce nuts immediately.

You can't expect to plant a walnut tree and then enjoy nuts the next fall. Walnuts trees do not begin producing nuts until they are about 8 to 10 years old, and for the first few years, they produce rather small crops of nuts. You can find sapling walnut trees that are a couple of years old in most nurseries, but you'll still have to be patient for a few more years post-planting before you get any nuts.

The trees require moist, fertile soil.

If you have dry land or very rocky, nutrient-poor soil, you may not be successful in growing a walnut tree. Like most nut trees, they have rather high nutrient demands. You can fertilize the soil and water the tree to a point, but this only corrects for so much. Look for a spot in your yard where the soil stays moist but water does not pool, and if your soil is poor, spend a year or two building it up with manure and compost before you plant your tree.

The nuts make a mess.

Walnuts fall to the ground when they are ripe. English walnuts do not make quite as big of a mess as black walnuts because they don't have the thick, black pods around the nuts. However, you still have to sweep them up and deal with the debris in your yard. Black walnuts can create stains if they fall on concrete or stone pavers, and the pods are a bit sticky until they dry.

To learn more about growing walnuts, talk to a landscaping service in your area.